“In this era of mergers and acquisitions, technological advances, globalization, and virtual employment, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is a must read for anyone looking to remain relevant in their career.” ~ Bob Kelleher, author of the best sellers Louder Than Words – 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps that Drive Results and I-Engage: Your Personal Engagement Roadmap
The ability of others to connect to you frequently and instantly highlights an interesting human behavior. The speed in which a colleague reaches you creates an identical expectation as to how long it will take you to respond. Similar to a fast-paced ping pong game, your colleagues expect you to be responsive just as quickly as they got the ball to your side of the table.
“Responsiveness is the degree to which you get back to colleagues and foster progress.”
Being Accessible does not mean you are available 24/7/52. We all have limits on the degree to which we can be reached by co-workers, and you should feel comfortable enforcing and expecting others to honor these limits.
Can you be too successful at modeling accessible behavior? Is this an example of “too much of a good thing”? We all know that sunlight is a good thing, yet too much can cause skin cancer. We know that the human body needs sugar to survive, and yet too much may cause diabetes. If you’re wildly successful at being accessible, you may find your calendar under attack.
Your goal is to make sure you are being accessible to serve the needs of others, not to become their servant.
Visibility is also comprised of “reputation” which is the intangible ways that individuals connect with you. Are you being welcoming to your colleagues and creating an atmosphere that reflects your desire to be accessible? When your colleagues come to see you, is your behavior creating or hindering access? Here are some ways to create a welcoming atmosphere that inspires access:
Visibility is comprised of “presence” which is the tangible ways that individuals connect with you. Here are a few ways to make sure it’s as easy as possible for colleagues to find you.
To be accessible does not just meant having an “open door policy” or ensuring your team knows your cell phone number. Accessibility is about creating an atmosphere where your colleagues can reach you – even interrupt you – and leave the interaction with a positive feeling. Are you accessible? Perhaps you possess low self-awareness of how your behavior in your organization diminishes outreaches by others.
How comfortable are you when introducing yourself to others? One characteristic of effective Introducers is that they are naturally comfortable introducing themselves. It could also be that they have mastered the ability to diminish any short-term discomfort that arises as they do.
I believe you can build your ability to be consistent, attentive, skilled, and invested when introducing yourself. However, I think it would be presumptuous to tell you to be comfortable when introducing yourself. Whether you are an Avoider, Fumbler or just plain unconsciously competent, some of you will not be comfortable introducing yourself, no matter how many books you read.
Introducers introduce themselves with energy, clarity, and confidence. Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s take a cue from our Introducer colleagues and practice some of the behaviors they weave into their introductions that make Introducers so effective when connecting themselves to others. Recall that, at their best, Introducers are the following: